Trouble is brewing in Vacationland, USA.

Residents of South Lake Tahoe say they’re fed up with out-of-towners throwing late-night hot-tub soirees, clogging their streets with too many cars and trashing their beloved little piece of heaven on Earth.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that some local activists are calling for city and county officials to get tough. A proposed ballot measure in November could result in a strict ban on rentals in much of the city outside its core tourist zone. Tempers are running so high that when El Dorado County officials attempted to gauge how locals felt about the issue, the crowd of people was so massive that overwhelmed fire officials ordered the meeting adjourned.

While the county continues to study the matter, says the Bee report, the city of South Lake Tahoe has already moved to restrict some of the renters’ most offensive behavior, instituting — among other things — a hot-tub curfew. And activists are now pushing city leaders to do even more by outlawing vacation rentals completely in a large swath of the town of 21,717, an oasis close to pristine beaches and iconic ski resorts. Those same attractions, unfortunately, are attracting scores of vacationers from around the world whose presence put the town’s well-being into jeopardy, say many who live here.

“It’s a very hot button issue in our community,” Mayor Wendy David told the Bee.

Here are the highlights of the battle:

Two factions are facing each other: full-time residents who say their quality of life is been threatened by an invasion of out-of-towners, many of whom are here to party hard; and others who say the rentals are good for the area, including some residents who depend on the extra income they get from renting out their homes to subsidize their mortgage payments;
Over a three-year-period, the proposed ballot measure would eliminate 1,400 vacation rentals – or about 75 percent of those homes currently licensed as rentals;
Residents like Lenore Twomey, who spoke to the Bee, voiced an opinion shared by many in this lakeside community: “There is a real conflict when you have people who have come to party that come to live in our neighborhoods,” she said.
Others in town, including some in the real-estate and hospitality industry, say the rentals help fill city coffers: Mark Salmon, who works for a real estate brokerage, told the paper “I wonder if people realize how much tourism dollars support in this community;”
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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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South Lake Tahoe freaks out over hot-tubbing party animals from out of town

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